Posts Tagged ‘life’

Today

August 14, 2018

I was tired.

No bones about it.

It was a long day.

I woke up wishing the alarm had not gone off, which is unusual when I have gotten enough sleep.

Logically I had.

I had gotten eight hours.

But my brain did not want to get up, did not want to get out of bed, the grey foggy morning was not at all enticing.

I think I’ve just become exhausted with the emotional overwhelm and the finality of the ending of my relationship, the beginning of the new internship, and yes.

School.

Ugh.

School stars in 17 days.

Yesterday I started reading.

I have two books that have landed in my post box and two electronic books.

I haven’t even opened the electronic books, I hate e-books, I don’t have a reader, I’d have to read from my laptop or from my phone.

I like taking notes, I like underling things, I like carrying the book around so that I may read it when I have spare moments.

I did not have many spare moments today.

I thought I might, but both monkeys were home from camp and the baby and mom had her Monday morning meeting and I went from 0 to 60 the minute I walked through the door.

Which was fine.

I mean.

I was a touch disappointed that I couldn’t do any reading, but hey, it’s work, I’m lucky if I get down time and it does happen.

I just have to remind myself to keep bringing the books with me, the paperwork, the other things that I need to do so that when the down time does land I’m not there holding nothing but my Iphone and my Instagram feed.

The reading I did do was a scant fifteen minutes before my first client showed up.

It was my first client who said no definitively to going to the new internship with me.

I was not expecting the client to do so and or the following client who also demurred.

I am just really grateful for the time I have had working with them and to acknowledge that they will be missed.

So I have three clients who will go with, one on the fence, who I will see tomorrow, and another who is MIA.

I already know that client will also not be joining me at the new practice.

Private practice means higher prices, not all my clients can afford higher prices.

Jesus.

Speaking of.

I just remembered I had two emails, no three, that I needed to respond to from my new internship.

I was too busy juggling monkeys today to attend to them.

Plus.

When I got home I had two emails to deal with regarding my current internship.

Whew.

But they all have been addressed, I have tracked my hours for today’s clients, logged into my own Google calendar, updated things, and feel ready for the next tiny action.

I keep reminding myself that they are just going to be whatever next small action in front of me I can do.

There are a lot of balls in the air right now but I can move forward slowly if I just put focus on one thing at a time.

I mean.

I haven’t yet got my syllabi for the program, despite having been told they would be available in July (bwahahaha, I know this university and didn’t actually expect that to happen), so the reading I’m doing is pretty proactive and I can put it aside if I need to.

I do expect that in the next couple of days I will get the notification that I have syllabi up.

As for my current internship, I’m doing all the things, seeing clients, and having now alerted all my clients to the transition I can take the next steps forward to closing down our therapy treatments and transferring the clients who are staying with Liberation Institution.

I just responded to the new internship with the dates of availability I have for the next round of orientation.

2.5 hours.

Total of five hours of just orientation.

But you know, I felt so dropped with the training at my current internship, I am very happy to be getting this support from the new place.

Especially as I will be embarking on a very new endeavor and getting paid for the work I do.

I am very happy to think about that.

I also am very happy to think about staying with them for a while.

They have a bridge program that allows a licenced MFT to stay with them should I so choose, which would allow me to offset my student loan debt.

The internship is a non-profit.

Unless, fingers fucking crossed, the current administration dismantles it, there is student loan forgiveness if you work with a nonprofit for ten years.

I had flirted with the idea of staying with Liberation but knew that I couldn’t do it ten years without getting some sort of recompense.

It would mean a lot of extra side work.

But Grateful Heart will be a place I can work and get paid and I will be able to build my practice and I could be making double to triple what I make now as a nanny within a year to a year and a half.

And more once I licenced.

And more once I have my PhD.

I could still be working under the non-profit and supporting them by taking low-income clients, but also support myself and get my student loans paid off.

I’m going to have about 125-150,000 in loans once this is all said and done.

Maybe not quite that much, but I did the calculations for 150,000 to just give myself an idea of what that would look like if I stayed with Grateful Heart and I think, so far, that it’s well worth it.

Of course.

This is all speculation.

And this lady is tired.

But I do feel better for having one step at a time gotten through the day and realized that there is only so much I can do.

And.

Only so much I have to do.

Which are all things.

I get to do.

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In The Quiet

August 13, 2018

In between the sound of the ocean coming through the back door of the studio, the sonorous bellow of the fog horn and the running trains along Judah Street, I fell into the grief.

I knew I would.

I knew it would happen when there was down time, low time, time to allow the feelings to move and pass.

I was reminded tonight, as I sobbed with my head on the table at a cafe in the Castro, that the grief would come and it would go and I was not going to always know what would trigger it to happen.

I mean.

Some of it was obvious, that Stevie Wonder song playing in the grocery store with the refrain, “I love you, I love you, I love you,” crooning out of the speakers.

Great.

Tearing up as I get my bulk oatmeal and brown rice.

The sappy love songs at Firewood Cafe tonight, I don’t even know who they were by, I didn’t recognize the singers, I don’t listen to much contemporary pop music, they were just cheesy love songs, but they left a tender spot on my heart.

Some things were less obvious.

The Mason jars.

They were a surprise.

The grief overwhelmed me when I was putting away dishes from my dish rack this afternoon.

Mason jars.

I don’t have vases, so I use wide mouth Mason jars as vases for flowers.

I threw away the flowers he gave me last week.

He gave me flowers on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

My room was a bower.

They were beautiful.

I thought about pressing some of them, but it felt too sappy and mopey and when they started to wilt I decided it would be better to compost them.

I tossed out one of the bouquets that was fading faster than the other and contemplated letting the other stay in residence in my kitchen for another day.

After all the trash and compost don’t go out until Monday evening, I could keep them around for another day.

But there was something about not wanting to see them wilt further and needing to let them go.

So I threw them out too.

Pretty flowers in the compost bin.

And yes.

I did feel a ping of sadness when I closed the lid to the bin, but it wasn’t so bad and I was happy to keep on with my day.

A day that was a lot of chores and cooking, laundry, and tidying up.

A day with a lot of writing as well.

I wrote a tome this morning.

Then I wrote to him.

I have a journal that I bought and I have been writing him love letters in.

It helps to let him know how I feel even if they are not being read by him.

Writing helps me process.

And it help me find the grief, locate it, and allow a little more out.

So I was completely taken aback when I fell to pieces putting away the Mason jars.

I took the first one and something popped in my chest.

I realized that I was never going to be putting flowers from him in the jar again.

I literally burst into tears and started sobbing.

Retelling the incident to my person is what led me to having my head down on the table at the cafe tonight.

“You don’t know that,” he said to me.

He was right.

I don’t know that.

I hope so much that one day he will give me flowers again.

Then my person made a nod to my wrist.

“Did you give that to yourself, or….”he paused.

I panicked.

“NO, it’s from him, I can’t take it off, I don’t want to take it off, 3/4s of my jewelry is from him,” I said tearing up again and shaking my head.

It’s a beautiful silver infinity bracelet from Tiffany’s that he gave me for graduating with my Master’s Degree.

The infinity symbol was meant for us, that we, our love is infinite and never-ending.

It hadn’t even crossed my mind to not wear it.

I have worn it every day since he gave it to me.

What would it be like to not wear it?

Heartbreaking.

Just stomp on my crushed heart a little more why don’t you?

I love the jewelry he has given me.

He knows my heart well and has given me such precious things.

And yes.

He is the first man to ever give me anything from Tiffany’s.

I have a few blue boxes in my cupboard tucked inside sweet little blue bags, with thick white ribbons wrapping them all up.

I don’t want to think about giving those up or putting away my jewelry.

Not yet.

Maybe not ever.

Just, well, just not tonight.

I was able to let go of some things that don’t need to be in my house though.

Sugar and flour.

I have baked him a birthday cake and I have baked him cookies and made him nice pasta, imported from Italy, and cooked him lovely things.

I love to cook for someone I love.

He was the best person ever to cook for.

Ever.

But I don’t eat pasta and I don’t eat sugar or flour and I don’t foresee baking for a while.

Plus, I reasoned, I’m moving, best to clean out some of the cupboards.

So I put that in the compost too.

Maybe I should compost my heart.

Perhaps some flowers will grow from it.

I will water them with my tears.

Cut them when they bloom.

Put them in a Mason jar.

And.

There I will keep them very well.

 

The Last Goodbye

August 10, 2018

I have been thinking about this blog for days now.

You may have noticed that I have not written for a few days now either.

I was saying goodbye to the love of my life.

I never thought that I would write that sentence or that for the last year and three months I would be so involved with a man who I would have the opportunity to say all those things.

Love of my life.

Soul mate.

Partner.

The best thing in my life.

The best thing in my sobriety.

And yet.

There they were, over and over and over again, these declarations of the rightness or, the validity of, the beauty and power of love, lauded all over me.

I have had the greatest love of my life ever these past months.

Yet.

I had to leave him.

I can’t explain why, oh, I could, but I have no inclinations to air it all out, suffice to say what I wanted was not available.

I thought I was alright with that at first.

I did.

I thought this man is so damn amazing, so handsome, smart, kind, tender, sexy (fuck do not get me started) and funny, god damn is he funny, no one, and I mean no one, has ever made me laugh the way he did, ever, that I could deal with anything that the relationship handed me.

I kept it off my blog.

Oh.

You could catch glimpses of it here and there, but I never really talked about him.

And then I did.

Back in January.

I broke up with him.

It was like death.

It was so anguished and sorrowful and painful that I had friends reaching out to me to express concern.

I was vague, in the blogs, and it could have easily have sounded as though I had lost a loved one.

That is what it felt like, a death, I felt like death, I had never experienced such grief.

I remember relating to him later that I had not felt the depth of despair that the break up caused as when I had lost my best friend at 32 in a surprising and awful accidental death.

I felt more grief in my person when I lost the love of my life, that loss was harrowing.

But as my therapist once reflected to me, “you never really broke up.”

We couldn’t not be together.

We tried to be friends.

We tried to be compatriots.

We tried to not see each other.

We couldn’t.

We saw each other and then the inevitable swan dive back into the romance, the heat, the passion, the relentlessness of it, despite knowing that it wasn’t the best for me, I continued, I was in love.

I am in love.

I still am in love with him.

I still have this hope that something will shift, change, a magical thing will happen.

I know that is fantasy, but it is there.

In reality I also know that was has happened inside me, on the interior, in my heart, has not be sustainable.

I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I was hurting myself too badly.

It is hard to be a psychotherapist and try to hold onto something so painful, but try I did.

Of course.

I did fuck loads of work around the relationship.

Inventory after inventory, looking at myself, my patterns, how I love, the previous relationships and what they looked like for me.

I looked at patterns of attachment with my parents, I explored my psyche, I prayed, I meditated, I asked consistently for help and guidance from my support network.

No one ever really told me what to do, but so many could see that it was not a working relationship for me that, well, worked in my benefit.

God damn did I try though.

A part of me, larger than I perhaps wish to admit, still wants to try, to beat my heart a little more on the impossible wall that I was trying to scale to get to the place the relationship could flourish and grow.

I can’t though.

So I did the thing I never ever, fucking ever, thought I would do.

I asked for no contact.

Today was day one.

And there was no contact.

Although, truth, I felt him in my bones and body all day, an unremitting ache that has me in its grip, the burden of showing up for work and clients when all I wanted to do was crawl under the covers and cry myself back to sleep.

Sleep where I may perchance to dream of him.

I fucking asked for no contact.

On one hand I am appalled.

No texting.

No phone calls.

No emails.

No social media.

On the other hand, I am quiet and proud of myself.

It was horrendous, it was the hardest decision I felt such an ache for the loss of connection I cannot put it into words.

And I knew.

I knew, damn it.

That it was for the best.

That it is the “right” thing to do.

What ever the right thing to do is.

I am barely holding on here writing this.

I want to detail all the last words and gestures, the sweetness, the sadness, the anguished tears I shed, but I cannot sully it with my words and my sharing.

These last two nights I have been with him and I have no desire to share any more of it than that, the last two nights I have been with him.

And I miss him horribly.

I will be crying for a while.

There is so much loss here.

I have to give myself time to grieve.

So.

Forgive me for not sharing anything more.

I am devastated and that will have to suffice for now.

Devastated.

Offer Accepted!

August 7, 2018

It’s official.

I just now, literally just seconds ago, replied with my acceptance for the Grateful Heart Therapy internship.

I am now part of their 2018 Fall cohort.

I will begin October 1st!

I can hardly believe it.

I will get to see clients and get paid.

I will get to have one office, instead of four different offices.

And!

Oh the nicest thing!

I found out that the Thursday morning group supervision meets in San Francisco not Alameda!

This is huge.

Especially since the group also meets a little earlier than I thought, 8:15 a.m.

But it’s done by 10:30 a.m. and I’ll be at work by 11 a.m.

I won’t lose any hours at work, I won’t have to finagle more money from somewhere else, in fact, once I start accruing a few more clients I will actually make some money.

I won’t for the first few months, it will take some time to accrue the prudent reserve the non-profit needs me to have to make sure that I can pay rent and supervision fees.

But that’s fine.

I have time to do that.

I have time and I will get paid, I suspect that I will start getting paychecks from them in or around January of next year.

I think it will take about three months to accrue the prudent reserve.

I am over the moon.

This is happening.

I will have an office.

Yes, it’s an office I will be sharing with my former professor, so it’s not mine, I haven’t decorated it, the couch isn’t mine, but I will get to rent from her and I will get to be in the space and it’s much nicer than the majority of my offices that I have currently with Liberation Institute.

One office.

God that just sounds so damn nice.

One key instead of four.

I am a very happy lady.

I almost told my boss today, but it was a hectic day with my charges, summer camps, doctors appointments, etc, and there was never really a moment that felt right.

And I’m glad that I didn’t, because I would have jumped the gun regarding the Thursday supervision.

My god I am so grateful that it’s in San Francisco and not Alameda.

Sure, I’m still going to have to deal with commuter traffic on Thursdays, but not having to go over the bridge is huge.

Such a relief.

It feels really nice to move forward.

I told one client today that I had gotten the internship and gave a soft notice for October 1st.

Now I will have to tell the rest of my clients.

Some I know will come with me.

Some will not.

For the ones who will not I will need to do a little footwork with my current internship to make sure that they are transitioned well to their next therapists.

For the ones that will go with me I will just have to tell them what office to start meeting me in when October rolls around.

Which shouldn’t be any kind of big deal as my new office is going to be in the same building as my current internship.

That is the best part of this new internship, I get to decide where I want to rent an office, and Grateful Heart takes care of the lease.

At some point I will transition completely into my own office, and I want to stay in the same building.

There is nice community there and I like the location, Activ Space (sic) in the Mission at Treat and 18th.

There’s a Gus’s Market just a block away, Stable Cafe, the new park on Folsom street at 17th, there’s Rainbow Grocery just a few blocks away, there’s plenty of parking.

And if I should want the building also has parking if I want to rent a spot.

I probably won’t at this point, but in the future when I have a sustainable income and my bills are being met well I will.

I really like the idea of having covered parking, the street parking isn’t horrible, but there are homeless folks around and there’s a bit of drug trafficking that happens in the neighborhood.

Tonight I came out and some guy was smoking crack on the sidewalk.

No thanks.

I don’t get bothered, but I know at some point it would be nice to come out of my therapy office and just get into my car without interacting with that sort of scene.

Anyway, that’s in the future.

Right now I am just going to take a moment to bask in the glow of having accepted the offer.

I really am proud of myself and the work I have done to get here.

Not just the Master’s degree and the traineeship and the internship at Liberation Institute.

But also that when it looked like my former professor and I were going to work together and then I found out we couldn’t that I didn’t sit on my ass and mope.

I went out and discovered that there were things I could do.

I heard about Grateful Heart from my therapist and remembered I knew someone who was there and met with that person and got my shit together and did the big application and got it in to the organization before I left for Paris.

I turned it all around in three weeks.

Then I got a asked to interview, which I did this past Saturday and today I got the offer.

That’s basically a month from finding out that the original plan wasn’t going to work to finding and solidifying a totally new internship.

One that is actually better for me than the original.

One door shuts.

Another door opens.

Seriously!

Waiting For

August 6, 2018

The offer letter.

It was supposed to come today.

I didn’t get it.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get the position!

“I’m offering the position to you, it’s yours,” she said emphatically 3/4s of the way through the interview.

I was so thrilled.

Yesterday morning I got up super early and headed over to Alameda to interview for the Grateful Heart Therapy private practice internship.

And I was hired.

The director let me know that she would be writing up the offer and sending it to me to officially accept today.

But.

Well, she had some things come up and I will get the letter tomorrow.

I was going to hold off on writing about it until I had the official letter in my hot little hands, but I have been very excited about it.

I really am, eventually, going to get paid for the work I do as a psychotherapist!

This is very exciting.

There will be some big transitions, but I feel like they are going to all work out well.

I was also extremely pleased to find out that the group supervision which is required for the first six months of the internship, the supervision that only happens on Thursdays, might also actually work for me.

There are a number of groups that meet on Thursdays and the incoming fall cohort would typically all be together, forming a sort of support team for each other as we all learn the ropes about how to craft and create and sustain our own private practices.

However.

I was told, the director knew that I have a full-time nanny position, that there might be some flexibility there for me.

I was happily surprised.

I was getting ready to tell my employer I wasn’t going to be able to work on Thursdays anymore and I was already trying to figure out how I would manage with the loss of one day of work a week until I am established with enough clients to pay my bills.

Which may take a few months.

But.

No.

The director told me that she knew of my dilemma and that though it was typical to start a new hire with other new hires, there was an opening in the earliest group of the day, Thursdays at 8:30a.m.

Granted.

Sigh.

This means getting up really early on Thursdays so that I can drive over to Alameda for group supervision until 10:30a.m and then driving back over the bridge to Glen Park for my nanny job, but fuck, it means I won’t lose out on income while I am making the transition.

I was super surprised that she made that offer.

Then I realized.

They really wanted me.

The director had already come up with a way to facilitate for my needs!

This was just moments before the position was offered to me, I felt this warm shift in the room and then, boom, she told me they wanted me and that she thought I was the perfect fit for the organization.

I could also tell that she was moved by my honesty and vulnerability in my interview.

Interviewing for a therapist position would be the place to be vulnerable, you might guess, and it paid off handsomely.

I am very pleased.

So today I reached out to my former professor and updated her on my situation, I will be renting office space from her and eventually she will be my solo supervisor.

For the first six months of the internship I will be with the group and I can continue to do so if I want, and/or implement supervision with my professor.

What Grateful Heart does is provide all the administrative support, overhead, insurance, and tax infrastructure that an AMFT (Associate Marriage Family Therapist) needs to be able to practice and get paid.

Effectively helping me to establish my own private practice.

So that by the time I have licensure I will already have a private practice up and running.

They will deal with my lease, they will pay my rent, they will pay my supervisor.

I will pay them $350 a month for the administrative work and to pay out my supervisor.

The money my clients pay will be directed to them, they take out fees, rent, supervision costs and then they will cut me a check out of what is left and it will be direct deposited  to my bank.

I will learn about how to get referrals, how to network, how to build up my own website.

Holy shit.

My own website.

I have been doing this blog for a long time, but I have never had my own website.

I have been thinking that I want to write a blog for my website, something therapeutically oriented, a sort of gift to clients or would be clients, a tool that can be used for their own self-care and as a way to promote my business.

I have to think about what I will call my practice.

I am nervous, but in a good way.

This is very exciting stuff.

I will leave my current internship at the Liberation Institute, where I was told rather sweetly by members in my group yesterday how much I will be missed, sometime in October.

Some of my clients will go with me.

Not all of them, however, I will be charging $80-$100 a session.

When I get licensed I will be charging $150-$200 a session.

And some of my current clients won’t be able to afford that, Liberation Institute is community mental health with an extraordinary sliding scale where no one is turned away for lack of funds.

But a few of my clients will be able to afford it and I suspect that a few may decide to stay with me as well, despite the raise in rates.

I am hopeful that I will get referrals from people I know in community as well as from my professor.

Even my own therapist said she would refer clients to me.

So it feels good.

Hopeful.

New.

Exciting.

I will share the letter with you tomorrow.

And whatever else happens as I move forward into this next phase of my developement.

Oh!

Before I forget.

I bought my books for my PhD program today too!

Things are really happening.

REALLY!

I Was All Upset

August 4, 2018

I was going to entitle this blog “motherfucker.”

I got another bill from the endoscopy procedure.

$899.

Why the fuck do I pay so much in insurance?

And get so damn little?

Which I am sure will be on my mind tomorrow when I go in for my dentist appointment.

The last time I was there the dentist said I should get a mouth guard.

And of course, it’s not covered by my dental.

I am not sure what my dental covers, truth be told, I’ve paid a ton out-of-pocket for the work I have had done.

The mouth guard will run about $400.

Which I have been preparing myself for and have not more animosity about it, I need it, I don’t want to grind my teeth at night, why am I stressed?

Bwaahahahahaha.

Sigh.

But I wasn’t expecting another damn bill from the endoscopy.

It feels like I just paid a bill.

For about $900 not even a month ago.

However, there it was, all cheerful and cheeky with its return envelope in my mail tonight when I got home.

Ugh.

I opened it and tried to not pay attention to it, I got a phone call right as I did.

Give the person on the line your complete attention, they are important, not this stupid letter that looks suspiciously like a bill.

Looks like a bill because it is a bill.

I looked at it after I got off the phone.

$899!

For things your insurance doesn’t cover.

There was a big block of letters in the billing area, “insurance company does not cover,” well isn’t that terrific?

I was about to fish out a stamp and write a check and put it in my wallet to mail tomorrow, but then I thought, fuck it, save the stamp, just pay it now, get it over with.

I have the money, I was just hoping to put it towards a new place, not old medical bills.

I got online.

I got logged into their weird payment system.

And!

I don’t have a bill there!

No bill means nothing to pay.

I wondered about that, was I billed twice?

I decided to just double-check and I called the number on the bill and logged into my account, which confirmed that I have nothing outstanding!

Zero balance.

I just chucked the bill in the trash.

Fuck you bill.

The nice thing, now that I don’t have to pay the bill, fingers crossed it would suck if that suddenly changed, but the nice thing was that even though I had a  momentary hissy fit, I wasn’t really balking at paying it.

I was just going to get it over with and pay it.

I am grateful for that in my life.

That I pay my bills when I get them.

I don’t like owing money and I have worked really hard for the last 13 years to be really clean with my money.

I don’t always succeed.

But I don’t owe any money to friends or to medical institutions (it would seem).

I owe money on my car, but I tell you what, with the exception of one month, I have paid double my car payment every month.

I am pretty happy about that.

I plan on making a payment tomorrow, I do them on the 4th when the payment is due, despite not really owing one, my next payment isn’t due until December, I’d rather just keep the habit going and I’ll pay tomorrow.

Hell I may even just pay it tonight to get it out-of-the-way since I’m writing about money and finances.

And, of course, I owe on my student loans.

But I’m not in default and I do pay them when I’m not enrolled in school.

I also don’t owe any money on any credit cards

Or, as the case may be, the one card I have.

In fact, I am thinking it’s time to cancel the damn thing.

I got it last year after being persuaded by a friend and haven’t used it once.

I could be accruing travel miles and such, but really the thought of using it wierds me out.

I had credit card debt, and a fair good bit of it.

I worked really fucking hard for a few years and got it wheedled down and then, yes, upon the suggestion of a lawyer, I filed for bankruptcy.

It’s a little complicated, but basically I spent two years busting my ass to pay off debt that was mostly acquired when I was in early sobriety.

I had run up my cards, got sober, and then was so broke and destitute for my first year that I never made any payments.

And boy howdy did that add up fast.

The interest on the cards skyrocketed and it was worse than paying off a loan shark.

I think I had 9% on one card that went to 28%.

And the other had started around 12% and was at 31%.

My lawyer basically told me I would never get out from under it, that I had made a huge effort to rectify the situation, I really had, worked so much for those years to work with the collection agencies, to the point I was on a first name basis with two different women, made amends financially, did the work, read front to back twice “How to get out debt, stay out of debt, and live prosperously,” by Jerrold Mundis, that I had records of all my payment plans, of everyone I had talked to, that I kept track of how much I spent and that I hadn’t any other debt, was huge.

I handed the lawyer such an enormous amount of spending plans, budgets, records, and notes that he literally was able to turn around the case and file it within two weeks of me seeing him.

I guess normally it takes longer because the lawyer has to do all the work that I had been doing for the past years.

So.

Yeah.

I’m not really interested in that kind of thing happening again and though I understand my friend’s reasonings, I think I am going to just cancel it.

Feels better.

Not as good as throwing away that medical bill.

But damn close.

Damn skippy close indeed.

Almost Over

August 3, 2018

The jet lag.

I forget that it takes a bit longer for me to adjust on the way back.

I was sitting at the park watching one of my charges swing and suddenly I got whacked with the tired’s.

I looked at my phone and realized it was 1 a.m. Paris time.

Of course.

I am still surprised that my body doesn’t adjust as fast as I think it will.

But I only had to take a look at the baby this morning as he fell asleep with his head down on the table, to see how powerful it is when we mess with our time clocks.

He was so sweet and out hard.

He didn’t wake up, although he fussed a little, when I removed him from the high chair and got him snuggled down for his nap.

I had a moment of wishing to just hold him and let him sleep against me, but the other two monkeys are with me full-time this week, school’s not yet back in for them, and it would have been too much to juggle a sleeping baby on me and two high energy kids on top of it.

As the case was, the little lady decided to help mom with chores and the eldest and I played Monopoly.

He’s really quite good for an 8-year-old, but he had a hard time with losing.

I didn’t rig it, I won, yes, I am that person, I am the person that will beat a kid at a game.

And not because I’m an asshole.

My mom was an asshole to me the first time I learned how to play Monopoly and was extremely competitive, she and her friends would have Monopoly parties that went on for hours and hours and days at a time.

They would leave the board set up in the kitchen and keep playing until there was a winner.

I was quite fascinated by it and at some point I learned how to play.

I learned how to be cut throat.

It wasn’t much fun.

Although the competitiveness of it was a kind of excitement that I had not experienced before that ramped me way up.

No.

I wasn’t trying to be an asshole, but I was trying to show him what it felt like to lose.

He’d rather win.

What kid wouldn’t?

But he’s also smart enough to know if I was throwing a game.

I have been tempted to before, he likes a couple of card games and he’ll get super upset if I win, but he also notices if I’m not playing with my all, so I just stay honest and play like I mean it.

Which is how I played the Monopoly today.

And he was good, not great, but good, and I could see that he was super into getting the money and collecting the properties and building the little houses and hotels up.

He was also expecting to win and a bit flabbergasted when he didn’t.

I told him how proud I was of him for figuring out big words, and for doing math problems and for playing as long as he did.

I also gently pointed out that there were things that he did super well, that he had ideas about how to make investments on his properties and figured out that he should put more houses on the properties that were landed on most often.

He was picking up strategy.

He didn’t much want to hear it, but I told him anyway, and when he realized that the person with all the money was the winner he went quite socialist on me and it was so sweet.

He decided to make up his own game where all the hotels became public housing and there were gardens and places people could go and get soup and be fed and it was so endearing to watch him draw it out on pieces of paper and talk about how having all the money wasn’t the most important thing.

I don’t know that he’s going to remember our game of Monopoly down the line, but it felt like a little victory, a win even though he’d lost, that he figured out that money wasn’t the most important thing.

It was probably pancakes.

He adores pancakes and I obliged this morning and made him breakfast (and lunch and dinner).

It was a lot of cooking today, but I don’t mind, I do like cooking for them and often I will make things I don’t myself eat, which is fine, I’m not tempted, it’s actually rather nice.

I used to love to bake before I got abstinent from sugar and flour, so it’s rather soothing and fun for me to cook for the family, I get the joy of making things that others enjoy and pancakes were definitely on that list.

So too, apple pie.

Which I will be making two of tomorrow.

I wasn’t expecting that, but dad’s got company coming over and a big request was made for my apple pie.

I don’t mind really, it’s nice, like I said to bake, and truth be told it does make my day go faster.

It will definitely eat up some time.

Which I’m all about on Fridays.

So despite the bit of jet lag, I am making it through.

One more day of work and then a very busy weekend.

I have an early interview on Saturday for a private practice internship, then a dentist appointment, then group supervision, a nail salon date for myself, a get together to do the deal, and then a late dinner with my person.

And Sunday will be full too.

But I’m not there yet.

One more day to go.

Thank God it’s almost Friday.

Trolling Craigslist

July 31, 2018

It has begun in earnest.

Me looking for a new place to live, that is.

I dropped off the signed paperwork to the law office today that my landlady is employing to navigate the buyout.

I have officially been bought out.

I turned over the paperwork and in return I got 1/2 of the payment we agreed upon.

I will receive the other half when I turn in my keys.

I will have until October 31st to find a new place to live.

I actually looked at a place last night, but it wasn’t a good fit.

It was also a room-mate situation and although the price was great and on paper it really looked good, I realized that I was going to have to be really conscientious about what I am able to accept or not accept in a room mate.

I mean.

I have lived alone for the last five years.

I am really used to going to the bathroom naked.

For starters.

And two.

I am clean.

I am not a neat freak or obsessive, in fact, I could stand to sweep the floor a little more often, but I am tidy, my place is nice and I keep my things well.

I make my bed every morning, I wash my dishes after every meal, I like things a certain way.

I realized well I was looking at the place that while I liked the master tenant I noticed that the standards were different and for me to be comfortable I would end up cleaning a lot more and also that I suspected I would spend a lot of time in my room.

So.

I passed.

In the past that would have freaked me out a little bit.

A perfectly decent place, less rent than I pay now, good size room, laundry on site, parking.

On paper, it looks fabulous.

Not so much in person.

And I don’t want to denigrate the place I saw, it just wasn’t a good fit.

I do suspect I will end up with being on my own wherever I move to next.

I’m just so used to it and well, I have a PhD program starting soon, I am going to want and need quiet.

So I have been searching craigslist.

I don’t have to be super on top of it right yet, I do have time.

Part of the buy out was to get myself a little more time to move out, originally I was asked to move out by September 1st, which would have been over the five-day intensive in Pacifica that I have to attend to start my PhD.

Now I have until October 31st.

Which is nice and thus not too much pressure to begin the hunt, but it is there.

I know that there will be a time when I see the place and I am going to want to make a big move on it.

Grateful that I have the first half of the buyout payment to put down a deposit and first months.

And I decided to leave it in my checking account rather than put all the money in my savings.

If I need to I will be able to plop the money down immediately if something comes up.

I am also hoping, really so much so, that I will find my new place by word of mouth or referral from a friend, from my network, which is usually how I have found places.

I haven’t had a ton of luck with craigslist in the past, although I have found a couple of places.

My first being the two month sublet I had in the Mission at 22nd and York when I first moved to San Francisco nearly 16 years ago.

$650 a month for a big room in a big four bedroom house with a back yard and laundry and three levels and a big kitchen and lots of bathrooms.

Even then, I remember being told I was getting a great price for a room.

Rents in SF have never really been low, not after I lived in Madison, Wisconsin (though truth be told rents in Madison are always higher than elsewhere because of the high student population attending the UW), god I remember this one house I lived in, a house, the bottom of it at least, and how much space there was.

Oh.

God.

So much space.

Big bedroom with a walk in closet that had a window.

The closet had a window, in SF that closet would have been someone’s bedroom.

The bedroom had six windows.

Six!

I don’t have one where I live now.

Then the dining room with three big windows, the living room with a huge bay window and a screened in front porch that I alternatively rented or let friends crash on after I had broken up with my boyfriend, I needed help covering rent.

And the kitchen, which was huge, the bathroom was good-sized and yes, had a window.

There was a full basement I didn’t ever really use, except to wash laundry.

A back yard.

And a garage.

A fucking garage.

I paid $750 for this palace and that included utilities.

And I thought that was expensive.

I can’t find a studio in-law in the city right now for under $1600.

And the ones that are that price are shady, nasty, basement dwelling things.

I know that I need light and air and space after living in my little studio for the last five years.

I want a bathtub.

My god it would be nice to have a bathtub again.

I want laundry on site, wood floors, high ceilings, light, lots and lots and lots of light, windows, and yes, I know I’m crazy, a place to park.

I don’t necessarily need a garage or a driveway, I just need to live somewhere that it is relatively safe to park my car and I can park it close to where I live.

Which means.

The Tenderloin is out and that is where most of the “affordable” studios are, $1700-$2000 a month, and I am not, repeat, am not, living in the Tenderloin.

My car would get broke into every other day.

I would be dealing with rampant drug use and homelessness and crazy.

I like being out in the Outer Sunset at this point because it is quiet and though there are homeless folk, there’s not rampant drug use.

I need serenity where I live.

So yeah, not Tenderloin for me.

And before you ask.

No East Bay either or Pacifica or Sausalito.

I need to stay in the city proper.

My schedule is just too tight to navigate anything further out.

So.

The search has begun.

If you hear of anything.

Let me know.

Seriously.

Home Again

July 29, 2018

I got back from my travels last night.

I was in motion for 24 hours.

Although what with the time change it looked like I had just traveled 11 hours.

But no.

When I got in to my studio last night the clock said it was 6 a.m. Paris time and I had been up since 5:30 a.m. the previous morning.

It was a long day.

I am very, very, very grateful that I woke up before my alarm went off, it was too hot to sleep and I kept waking up and having difficulty falling back asleep, so when I woke up at 5 a.m. I never got fully back into sleep, just lay in bed sweating lightly and wondering if I should just get up and get going.

When the light began to grow bright enough I gave up the ghost, got up and started my getting ready to leave.

I gave myself time to have a light breakfast, which thank God I did, because there was no time at the airport to get food, I was super lucky to be able to snag a bottle of water for the flight, let alone have had anytime to forage for food.

I had done most of my packing the day before, even went a bought a cheap suitcase to haul back my goodies from my trip.

Notebooks, a stuffed hippo for one of my charges, a model car for another charge, stickers and rainbow unicorn rub on tattoos and a pretty notebook for the little girl.

Other gifts for folks.

And then the things that I had gotten for myself: a purse, a market basket from Aix-en-Provence, an art book from the Zao Wou-ki show I went to at the Musee Moderne, lots of notebooks, five or six I think, magnets from the Klimt show and one from Marseilles, some notecards, three dresses (three! I was so thrilled to have found a shop, with the help of my friend, that carried my size and had lovely clothes), a sweater coat, and a blouse.

I can’t believe I found such lovely clothes, it’s very rare for me to find clothing when I have gone to Paris before.

Partially because I just didn’t know really where to look, having a friend who lives in Paris show you the spots is a huge perk.

I also got a vintage candle holder/lantern from a shop on Ile St. Louis and some prints from the Klimt show.

I couldn’t have squeezed all of that into my little carry-on.

My carry on, which as it would turn out, was not so little anyway.

It got flagged at the airport.

I was not happy.

This was the first time that it’s been flagged.

I didn’t even get it through security.

A couple of times I have had to check it at the gate but never before did I have it flagged before even going through security.

I was not happy.

I was on the same airline I took to get to France, so I knew it would fit, in fact, it had slightly fewer items in it since I had bag checked the other suitcase and figured I would fill that one heavier and keep my carry on fairly light.

But nope.

It got flagged.

Ugh.

I had already had a bit of a rough start to my Charles de Gaulle experience.

I got to the airport with plenty of time, I splurged and took a cab.

Again, thank God, if I had done the train I would have likely missed my flight considering the amount of time it took to get to the gate.

When I arrived I did a check in on a kiosk, printed off my boarding pass and got a sticker for the checked bag.

Then I stood in line with my checked bag to get it to a counter to get loaded onto the plane.

I was in line about thirty minutes.

About twenty minutes into being online a little voice in my head said, “hey, did you get your card from the kiosk?”

I couldn’t remember.

I took a deep breath, got out my wallet, opened it up and looked.

No debit card.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

I had left it in the machine!

I flushed very hot then almost started to cry.

I took another deep breath.

What should I do?

Odds are it’s gone.

Somebody was right behind me to use the machine.

Either they took it and went wild at the Duty Free shop.

Or maybe they turned it in to lost and found.

I started to think about how to ask the next Air France agent I saw about where the lost and found was in French.

I resolved to stay in line and check my bag and then go look.

It was a long ten minutes.

I got my bag on the belt and dashed back to the machine.

Of course.

The card was gone.

I looked around, there was a desk next to the kiosk, but nothing on it.

I turned to go back to the line that had to Air France agents working it.

I should mention that there were three different areas to queue up to, each area having two agents, then agents roaming between and agents at the desk.

I don’t know how I decided to ask the woman I asked, but I made a snap decision and walked towards her.

I approached and asked if I could speak English with her, I really wasn’t sure I could get across in French what had happened, although I had been practicing it for the last ten minutes.

She said of course.

I told her what I did, I pointed to the machine, I was about to ask if there was a lost and found and she said, “you’re Carmen?”

I nodded, yes, yes, yes, as she pulled my debit card out of the front breast pocket of her jacket.

I nearly wept for joy and thanked her profusely.

What are the odds that the person I asked would have my card in her pocket?

I don’t know, but it felt like winning the lottery.

I was so happy about it that when I was told my carry on would cost me 80 Euro to process I didn’t give a fuck.

Who cares?

I had found my card.

And though the whole process set me back over an hour and a half of going to and fro, it was all worth while.

I made my plane with minutes to spare, enough to be able to dash to the nearest counter and buy a bottle of water and then get myself settled in for a very long flight.

There were a few other adventures.

Like the plane having to sit on the tamarack for another hour because a person had to be de-planed, which led to me literally sprinting through the Atlanta airport to make my connecting flight, but I did then too.

So even though it was a long trip getting back.

Get back I did.

And I am very grateful to be home, unpacked, all my laundry washed and put away and almost ready to get back to my regular routine.

Almost.

I have one more delicious day off.

Ah.

Summer vacation.

You did me good.


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